For a well-traveled couple in the prime of their lives, no ordinary lakefront home would do. Nestled in the exclusive neighborhood of The Lake Club, a private community in Lakewood Ranch featuring scenic lakes and decorative bridges, it’s abundantly clear that a water view was of the utmost importance during the architecture and building processes.
“The home really capitalizes on the expansive lake,” says Claudine Leger-Wetzel, vice president of sales and marketing for Stock Development, a family-owned, full-service real estate company with decades of experience building distinctive homes custom-tailored to the Florida lifestyle.
Setting aside the lakefront factor for a moment, there’s another reason this home is so special: it was a 50th Anniversary gift that the homebuyers gave to one another. “The goal was to provide a livable residence that gave the customer everything they wanted,” says Corporate Executive Greg Weber of South Florida Design and South Florida Architecture, the man behind this West Indies-style project. “And I feel confident saying that it has everything and more to fulfill the residents’ needs for this chapter of their lives.”
Interior designers Marla Oppenheim and Marsha Ritter of Pizzazz Interiors, part of the Stock Family of Services, entered the picture early on.
“We got in at the ground level before there was even any ground!” says Ritter. The future homeowners, actively involved in the selection process, indicated a preference for textural materials, and upon further inspection of their previous home, the designers also observed that the couple had exceptional taste. “It was clear they liked fine, luxurious things, so we had to bring our ‘A game’,” Oppenheim recalls.
The clients, who were entering their golden years, had traveled the world extensively and their personal belongings reflected that. But to achieve a departure from the predominantly Asian theme of their former residence, the designers aimed to fashion a look that was more “global.” To that end, they incorporated the clients’ pre-existing items with new ones that reflected the style of varietal cultures.
“I believe the ability to do that successfully is the sign of good design,” says Oppenheim. And do it successfully they did. “Anyone would be hard-pressed to distinguish between what was old and what was new,” adds Ritter.
With keen attention to detail, a proficient use of color, lots of creativity, and as is their modus operandi, a positive and upbeat attitude, the ladies of Pizzazz Interiors not only fulfilled all their clients’ wants and needs, they treated them like family. Aside from helping the couple give each other the ultimate anniversary present, designers Marsha and Marla also gave them two new friends. And that is, perhaps, the greatest gift of all.
The ROMO wallpaper’s python-skin-meets-tribal design on the foyer’s accent wall establishes the color palette and global tone of the entire home. The vignette includes the clients’ own console of stacked cherry wood and champagne metal accents, artisan ceramic vases from Global Views, a Currey & Company statement chandelier with pale blue handblown glass “bubbles” from International Design Source. The oak floor was installed in a pattern so intricate, an accent rug would have been redundant.
The transitional kitchen is pitch perfect, with crisp white shaker cabinetry offset by warmer tones in the oak floor and Cambria Quartz island. Spherical, milky glass pendants from Bee Ridge Lighting and a set of hand forged iron swivel barstools with cushions upholstered in a hexagonal pattern from International Design Source add a dash of contemporary flare. “Pizzazz did a lovely job of bringing the elements together,” says Leger-Wetzel, a statement that holds major weight considering Stock was so instrumental in the Sarasota market’s evolution towards transitional design.
To realize the homeowners’ goal of showcasing their collected artifacts, Ritter designed a custom wall unit with floating shelves in the great room. Its backdrop, a Thibaut metallic cork paper, also wraps the ceiling beams to accentuate the stunning architectural detail. Reflective surfaces such as the pearlized leather cocktail ottoman from Vanguard, and the mother of pearl painted accent table from Swaim, both from International Design Source, perpetuate the silvery tones. A pair of wood-framed chairs by Barclay Butera, upholstered in tie-dyed indigo, deliver an ethnic vibe. The three-tiered Elan chandelier from Bee Ridge Lighting commands attention without obstructing the generous lake view, and a Feizy rug grounds the space while melding rich tones of blue, taupe, and gray.
Tribal influences continue in the dining room, where the designers reupholstered the owners’ own dining chairs, and treated the draperies with the same bold, globally-inspired cream and blue fabric by S. Harris from International Design Source. A Lucite drapery rod infuses a contemporary feel, and a curvaceous Currey & Co. chandelier, finished in elegant champagne, softens the sharp edges of the dining table with its sculptural curves.
No detail was spared to achieve a global sensibility in the master bedroom. The Euro shams, bolster pillow, and tailored cornices feature an ethnic charcoal and ivory print from JF Fabrics. Black wire fixtures from Bee Ridge Lighting, oversized cerused charcoal wood Century nightstands, and sculpted bronze Phillips Collections figures from International Design Source all reference faraway continents. The designers customized the headboard of the Lexington bed with coral velvet fabric from Stroheim to coordinate with the owners’ own rug, and used Samuel and Sons rope and tape trimmings as finishing touches on the bedding and windows. “We observed from their original house that they loved detail–so anytime we could throw in a trim here or a fringe there, we did,” says Ritter. The owners are pleased, and apparently, the family’s mini Labradoodle “Max” is too!
It’s a material world in the master bath, where the dramatic gray veining marks on the wall and floor tile, and no two components of the opulent sterling and charcoal mosaic insert, are the same. A freestanding soaking tub and a silver-leaf embellished live-edge side table from International Design Source impart an organic feel.
“One of things we recognize as a homebuilder is that everyone lives differently,” comments Leger-Wetzel. “That’s why a ‘flex room’ is such an attractive feature.” In this instance, the space features a set of bunk beds, custom-designed by Ritter, to be enjoyed by the lucky grandkids when they come to visit. Each has its own decorative pillow, conceived by Oppenheim using a Kravet fabric sourced through International Design Source with a nautical flag theme and contrasting flanges. Four Knoll leather chairs, as colorful as a box of Crayolas, flank 3 custom Charleston Forge laminate parsons tables that allows creative minds to wander. It’s also where their grandmother plays bridge, and where their grandfather (a kid at heart himself) constructs his Lego masterpieces!
The forms of flattery in the guest bath are most sincere. The floors and shower walls are treated with a tile that emulates whitewashed wood, and the Phillip Jeffries grasscloth wallpaper, sourced through International Design Source, with its water-colored effect using shades of deep blue, are an ode to the aquatic wonder of the Florida Gulf.
The perfect symmetry and balance of the front elevation lend themselves to the West Indies style so popular in this region. “The West Indies design is right at home within the relaxed tropical feel of the local landscape,” says Weber. As is typical in most of the homes he and his firm designs in Florida, he has arranged the structure to maximize the views and allow as much light into the home as possible.
The lanai area encourages endless hours of relaxation and entertainment. A contemporary outdoor sectional and dining chairs from Lloyd Flanders, a set of lounges from Castelle, and swiveling counter stools from Telescope Outdoor, all sourced through International Design Source, provide ample seating. The mosaic-trimmed pool, with elevated sun shelf and spa, is refreshing and modern. Earthy tiles from Sticks & Stones Flooring create a captivating focal wall behind the well-equipped outdoor kitchen.
Written By Robin Hodes
Photography by Jimmy White
South Florida Designs
9990 Coconut Road
Bonita Springs, FL 34135
Luxury Home Builder
2639 Professional Circle, Suite 101
Naples, FL 34119
1959 Trade Center Way
Naples, FL 34109
Bee Ridge Lighting
3909 Bee Ridge Road
Sarasota, FL 34233
Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery
2451 17th Street
Sarasota, FL 34234
International Design Source
1734 Northgate Boulevard
Sarasota, FL 34234
Sticks & Stones Flooring
1839 Northgate Boulevard
Sarasota, FL 34234